OK, you are asking SHOULD you fast. Well, I was once morbidly obese, BMI 42, had what seemed to be a major knee problem, and I fasted, and it worked. BUT, it worked primarlily because fasting reset my appetite. After several fasts, I began to realise I was eating more healthily, and eventually realised that I was fat and sick because of my diet. So make your own mind up on fasting, but if you do it, make a promise to yourself that you will look into eating properly, because this is the cause of ill health.
Now I'll give you some short cuts, because it is very difficult to find the truth about nutrition and health, but you will find some if you google the following names:
T Colin Campbell
Dr John McDougall
...there are others.
You would be well advised to read a book called "The Pleasure Trap", by Douglas Lisle and Alan Goldhamer. It explains why you like the food you do, and why ity leads to problems.
The Pleasure Trap has a chapter on fasting, and indeed Dr Lisle runs the True North Health Center which does do supervised fasts where needed, but in general the doctors in this group - I suppose you might call it a breakaway group - generally advse on healthy nutrition rather than fasting. I think one reason for this is because for many people fasting becomes an obsession, and often it is pursued by people who put appearance before health. To quote Dr Fuhrman recently from his forum: "you should learn to eat properly before you fast".
At first it is difficult to believe what you are reading, because it goes against all you have been told. But you may well be ready to cope with that because you believe in fasting, so clearly you have looked into it and have formed your own opinion. I would ask that you do that with the information I have given you above.
Let me make some comments on some of your problems, and give specific answers based on the information I know. I should add that I am NOT medically qualified, but I will be studying T Colin Campbell's Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition at Cornell (online) in just over a week, and this finishes at the end of the year, and I am familiar with the work of the above doctors and others in this field of research. Oh and I lost 100 pounds, kept the weight off, and am now fitter and healther tha have ever been
You may wish to join Dr Fuhrman's website regarding this, because it may affect your nutrient intake. Check out this entry is from Dr Fuhrman's blog. Dairy, as you will learn, is not good.
My mother was told I was calcium deficient so I was constantly given milk, at times drinking up to a gallon a day as a child.
Ok, this might explain a few of the other things. However, you will find that a plant based diet - as these Doctors advocate - is very forgiving. I could link you to a very detailed video, and I will if you ask, but first look at some of the results achived by "Star McDougallers". You might also want to look at Saved by Nutrition, which is run by the T Colin Campbell foundation. Perhaps you can find cases like yourself on either of these sites. Oh I just shecked Dr Fuhrman, he is doing the same thing with his "success stories", I guess they are all up to it.
I know that my addictive behavior is at the root of my health issues and I truly believe that doctors, through their practice of giving out pain medications and pushing their pills have contributed to my current status. I stopped buying into their "cures" years ago.
You are on the right track, thank god for that! OK I won't comment on all your problems, because some I am unfamiliar with and I would just end up googling them, I am sure you are more than capable of doing that. And actually you don't have to pay for Dr Fuhrman's site, you could join Dr McDougall's forums for free and get good advice there.
My desire is to break my addiction to food and caffeine by going on an extended fast.
The food addiction can also be broken by changing your diet, it takes 12 weeks. You are going to get a few headaches when you give up caffeine. But the biggest motivator is knowing what your current diet is doing to your health. The fantastic thing is knowing that there is a solution, in plants.
And yes, I am in counciling and I am a huge advocate of acupuncture, which I intend to resume this week. I know that with the proper guidance I can finally be successful in this journey I am ready to undertake.
Yes, traditional chinese medicine is also good, I myself have used acupuncture to give up smoking around 12 years ago. But the main thing is to stop putting gasoline on the fire, as Caldwell Esselstyn would say. Oh, he's reversed heart disease by nutrition. Clever chap. I'll leave you with a video on Dr McDougall himself, who's parents "didn't know any different" and he became ill too, as you will see. But look at him now. Feel free to PM me if you want any more help on nutrition, even if you do a fast first. Al I can say about fasting is just drink water! But the general consensus these days in the plant based field is to concentrate on nutrition. Oh yes, and you lose weight very quickly on a plant based diet too. I think what you will like about this though - should you take on my advice and look into good nutrition - is that it empowers YOU to make the changes that you so much want. I wish you the very best